余白 – yohaku
blank space, white space,
間 – ma
gap, space, pause, interval, time, opening, relationship, human relationship, space in between,
This year, Unit 8 will continue to explore the possibilities of architectural design within our current climate crisis.
We will study the Japanese words 余白 (yohaku) and 間 (ma); how they relate to architectural design, and how conscious restraint and doing less can help the space between to flourish.
We will start the year by studying the works of artists and poets, engaging an understanding of framing, limitations, constraints and relationships between things. On the other hand, we will produce a range of drawn and modelled surveys, studying these relations and forming the basis of our proposed interventions.
We will continue to work with the notion of re-use – challenging ourselves to propose ambitious, civic architecture using an economy of means. We will focus on existing sites in London – proposing a future life for overlooked buildings, structures, and landscapes to incorporate new public programmes. We will visit examples of public re-inhabited spaces together throughout the year and will organise focused discussions at each of these sites.
Our workshop programme will target aspects of the design process through seminars and making. We will invite a series of consultants and collaborators with the aim of enriching our year-long design project, including Webb Yates, Jennifer Frewen and Cecile David.
Site: Hackney Wick
Artists: Matisse, Derek Jarman (garden), Joseph Beuys, Agnes Martin, Kawanabe Kyousai, Alberto Giacometti, Paul Klee, El Lissitzky, Moholy Nagy, Kourin Ogata (Kakitsubatazu), Helen Frankenthaler
Architecture Postgraduate Studios
PG Architecture Unit 02: Building in the Landscape of the City
Tony Fretton and Jillian Jones
To design an Embassy in Park Square, a large enclosed garden in the south of Regents Park, consisting of a Chancellery, the offices of the Embassy and a Residence, the home of the Ambassador and their family, and a place of social and political gathering. There is space enough on the site to allow design in radically sustainable materials and processes.
PG Architecture Unit 03: New Ways of Seeing
Pippa Nissen, Marie-Lise Oulmont, Andrea Hickey, Kate Coghlan
This year our studio will be designing a major public building in East London by the Regent’s Canal. The brief will be to design an art gallery or museum, that includes an archive and learning spaces around a collection of objects or art. The response will need to challenge traditional display; discussion, debate and learning embedded in the whole. The studio’s theme builds on our work at Nissen Richards Studio, where we have a particular focus on cultural buildings and narrative spaces.
PG Architecture Unit 04: The Palimpsest of Futures Past
Jonas Lundberg, Nate Kolbe
Working on several UNESCO world heritage sites in Sicily as an integral part of provincial and rural development in collaboration with invested actors. You are asked to imagine, design, and develop a time-based architecture adding a layer to the historical palimpsest of an UNESCO world heritage site. Unit04 urges you to regain the agency of architecture as the harbinger of change, delight and vision adding equally precious layers to the present and the near future to the palimpsest of the site.
PG Architecture Unit 06: After the Arrival City
Dr Bo Tang and Robert Barnes
“Never demolish, always transform. Transformation is the opportunity of doing more and better with what is already existing. The demolishing is a decision of easiness and short term. It is a waste of many things — a waste of energy, a waste of material, and a waste of history. Moreover, it has a very negative social impact. For us, it is an act of violence.” Lacaton & Vassal, Winners of the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2021. Unit 06 will explore housing and social infrastructure in Athens
PG Architecture Unit 07: Poetic Pragmatism I: Housing in the Hinterlands of Hackney
David Grandorge, Ted Swift
The studio will continue to address how global heating impacts upon the practice and production of architecture, in this case, through the design of low and medium-rise housing for social rent in east London.
PG Architecture Unit 08: 余白と間 – yohaku and ma
Takero Shimazaki, Paolo Emilio Pisano and Karabo Turner
Starting from the concepts of 余白と間 – yohaku and ma, we will focus on existing sites in London – proposing a future life for overlooked buildings, structures, and landscapes to incorporate new public programmes. We will continue to work with the notion of re-use – challenging ourselves to propose ambitious, civic architecture using an economy of means within our current climate crisis.
PG Architecture Unit 09: HOUSE AND GARDEN
Stephen Taylor, Giles Townshend
This year Unit 9 will undertake live projects, focusing its attention on the remote hill town of Florac in the French mountains of the Cevennes National Park. Working with the local mayor we will design a cluster of houses, gardens and workshops.
PG Architecture Unit 12: Second Life
Peter St John, Fabienne Sommer, Ben Speltz and James Hand
The studio will investigate the theme of Second Life in the context of the design of buildings. Our interest is wider than the theme of Reuse and will address the broader question of a Renewal of our approach to construction, moving towards a future where buildings are indivisible components of a regenerating ecological system. With an interest in imagining alternatives to our problematic present, our main project will be the design of a timber building for a Housing Collective in south London.